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Jeffrey grew up in western Michigan along the shores of Spring Lake. After receiving an old sunfish and a book outlining the basics of sailing, 11 year old Jeff set out on his first sail. He was instantly hooked. Without any lessons, Jeff sailed his boat each day on his own and got better and better. Jeff longed for more speed. Hepurchased some used bed sheets from a local hotel and cut himself a custom jib. Next, he added some lead tape to the centerboard and was ready to go. With his newly enhanced sunfish, Jeff knew sailing would always be his life.

Jeff moved on to larger boats quickly. Throughout his teenage years, he was asked to sail with local racing programs. As he honed his skills at the bow, Jeff never gave up on finding ways to make boats go faster. He taught himself the science behind boat design and construction, along with composite fabrication. The impact of Jeff’s abilities could be sensed on and off the water.

Jeff began his professional sailing career over a decade ago in Australia. Since then, Jeff has specialized in racing, building, modifying, and preparing high performance sailboats, including Wild Oats (CBTF R/P 60), Mustang (Swan 42), Le Pengouin (Open 60), and various Farr 40s, Melges 32s, and International 14s.

During the summer of 2011, Jeff raced Oakcliff Ker 11.3, double-handed, in a number of New England regattas. Throughout his first shorthanded sailing season, Jeff finished first in the double-handed divisions of the Marblehead to Halifax Race, the Ida Lewis Distance Race, and the Greenport Ocean Race. He finished second in the New England Solo Twin Championship and the Vineyard Race, and third in the Indian Harbor Stratford Shoal Race.

In 2012, Jeff completed two transatlantic crossings. First, on the Open 60, Le Pengouin, and then aboard the Class40, EDF Energies Nouvelles, while competing in the Transat Quebec Saint-Malo. They finished second in the Vintage Class.

After finishing the Transat Quebec Saint-Malo, Jeff remained in France to launch his Class Mini campaign with extraordinary success. Sailing Class Mini 716, Jeff earned the number 1 world ranking by winning The Solo Roma Solo Race and the Arcipelago 6.50, taking second place in the Mini Barcelona and the Gran Premio d’Italia, and third place in the Valencia AIR. After 716 was destroyed during a 1,000 mile solo qualification sail, Jeff continued his campaign on Class Mini 759 with similar success, winning the final race before the Mini Transat, Le Grande Huit.

Jeff is now looking forward to sailing on the Class40 generously provided for him by Ralfie Steitz and the USMMA.

 

 
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